A tooth is made up of three main sections: an outer protective layer called enamel, a softer and sensitive middle layer called dentine, and a soft inner layer called dental pulp. Within this pulp layer is connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels, all of which nourish the tooth.
Root canal treatment is required if the pulp at the centre of the tooth becomes infected. Infection within the pulp can be due to many different reasons including severe tooth decay, damage to the tooth as the result of a knock or fall, or extensive restorative work such as fillings or crowns.
Root canal treatment aims to save the tooth by treating the infection and removing the bacteria from within the tooth. All the infected or damaged pulp is removed from inside the tooth and the empty canals are filled with an inert material to avoid further infection. With the food source having been removed, bacteria cannot survive.
Root canal treatment is often completed over two visits. At the first visit the dentist will remove the infected pulp and any abscess which may be present are drained. The root canals are then cleaned and shaped ready for filling. A temporary filling is put in and left to settle. A second visit is required to check the tooth and to ensure all the infection has cleared before the tooth is permanently filled.
This course of treatment is usually successful, however if the infection returns the treatment may need repeating. Root canal treatment is a routine dental procedure, carried out by the dentist at myFACE. However, sometimes it may be necessary to refer you to an Endodontist who is a specialist in this type of treatment.